Grin and bear it, Mr Bond

SMILE please, you are on camera.

SMILE please, you are on camera.

It’s safe to say that Colchester United warhorse, Andy Bond, was not looking at his best when the U’s squad assembled at the Weston Homes Community Stadium for the official media day photo shoot yesterday afternoon.

It is usually an occasion for players to show off impressive sun-tans while modelling the new kit for a new season.

Bond looked the part, until he broke into a smile – the happy, toothless grin of a player who has been in the wars, but is on the mend. (He was captured by photographer Rob Sambrook, courtesy of

The 25-year-old midfielder lost his front teeth, following a sickening clash with team-mate Mark Cousins during last week’s pre-season friendly against Ipswich Town. The game was abandoned after 78 minutes, due to the seriousness of Bond’s injury, with the score at 0-0.

Bond has since undergone major dental surgery, and is facing more work in the next few days.

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The ex-Barrow favourite will certainly miss the start of the season, but manager John Ward is having to rein him in, such is Bond’s determination to return to action.

“Andy has got a considerable amount more work to do on the dentistry side,” explained Ward during yesterday’s media function.

“That’s not going to cause him any problems in terms of playing, but it’s only a week since the incident and you can see the results for yourself.

“He was in a mess the kid, and has been in a lot of pain, up until he had the other teeth removed yesterday. He’s been through a heck of a lot.

“Andy’s had an almighty crash to the head, and I dare say not many of us walking around would be as sprightly as him a week later,” added Ward.

Bond enjoyed a good first season with the U’s last term, after becoming then new-manager Ward’s first signing. He featured in 43 of the U’s 46 league games, and contributed eight goals.

Both he and keeper Ben Williams (recovering from a viral infection) are definite non-starters for the opening day trip to Preston, although striker Steven Gillespie is fighting fit again after missing the pre-season games against Ipswich and Watford.

Bond, though, could return to the side as early as the second weekend, despite his traumatic experience.

“Andy has just started running again today, so the blood has started pumping,” confirmed Ward.

“He’s done OK, but it was only casual. We will bring him on as the week goes on.

“I would say at the moment that he has got to be exceptionally doubtful for the next couple of games, but I don’t know about Wycombe at home as yet.

“He wants to do that and be there, and that’s massive for a player while you are trying to hold him back.

“He’s got a great sense of humour, with his teeth out. Now the lads know he is all right, he has got almighty stick, but he has been able to give it back.

“He sees the funny side of his face, which we have seen a little bit longer than him!

“He’s a tough lad. He’s a northern boy who just wants to play football. We saw that last year when he came out of non-league to play for us,” added Ward.

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